ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sunspot observations, made on 15th August 1871 by the French astronomer Gustave Louis Bernaerts (1841-1879). The notes are in French, and include the exact time the observations were made, and a key for the letters used to label the drawing. Sunspots, first observed with telescopes in 1610, are areas of magnetic activity that are cooler than the rest of the Sun's surface. As telescope designs improved, more detailed studies were made, allowing sunspots to be used to track solar activity.
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